When work is fun and games

I can finally look normal again after three months of looking like a dorky teacher.

I’m still filming the kids’ drama. I’m still a teacher, but we’ve moved on to the later episodes where my character’s personal life outside of teaching comes into play. I have the chance to wear non-dorky clothes and look normal! Yay.

I realise I’ve never mentioned the title of this drama. So, here are a few details:

The title is SNAP, but it’s a Chinese drama. It will be shown on Sunday mornings on Channel 8, possibly starting on Sep 30. There are 14 episodes, each lasting 30 minutes and I’m in 12 episodes. I think.

This drama series has many directors, each taking charge of different episodes. I think it’ll be very interesting to watch because every episode is going to have a different flavour.

Today’s director is Martin, who is also the overall project manager and the person who normally helps me take photographs using my camera while I’m filming.

But since he’s the director today, he doesn’t have time to horse around with my camera, so I’m my own photographer today and Martin is my subject. Haha.

Martin has a tough job managing the kids today because they have a fun toy as a prop.

A wired laptop!

You know how kids get engrossed when they’re having fun.

It’s just them and their world.

Well, since this is a kids’ drama, the production is full of kids.

Here are two big ones.

On the left is Ler, who directs other episodes. He looks into the camera defiantly because… I don’t know. Because it’s fun?

I love working with creative people. They’re like boxes of chocolates, like, you know, you never know what you’re gonna get.

On the right is Melvin, the producer, and this is his house we’re filming in.

Tell you one secret.

Melvin’s house is so big that it’s used as the prop house for two different girls in the show (to save them the trouble of finding two separate houses to film in.) Of course, the audience won’t know it because different parts of the house are used for each girl.

But I know and I think it’s funny. Hahahaha!

Yeah, I know. I’m very easily amused.

For example, I amused myself playing around with my camera’s macro function while waiting for the crew to set up the lights around me.

I like photos with foreground/background compositions. Not this particular photo I’ve taken, of course. It’s a stupidly composed test shot just for illustration.

I couldn’t do very much because I only had my fingers to use as foreground, plus the crew started to look at me weird for taking photos of my own fingers.

I’ve learnt a lot from this shoot. Especially from my favourite girls, Jiaxuan and Almond.

They’ve taught me all sorts of cute games and riddles and stuff that girls do to amuse themselves.

Ah, but no fun and games for now because it’s back to work.

Then again, acting is fun and games.

Once, I was filming a scene in which my character was listening to a student’s sob story. It was a serious scene, even a little touching.

During one take, as I delivered my last line, and with the camera focused on my face looking at my student empathetically, and just before the director yelled “cut!” to wrap the scene, someone’s phone rang.

The music was the chorus of “Killing Me Softly”.

The song came at such an apt moment, at the exact time a real soundtrack might appear in a movie. But it was hilarious because of that and because the song ringing out turned our drama into comedy.

I tried to keep a straight face because the director hadn’t yelled “cut” but then the entire crew started laughing and I had to join in.

Moments like that make great NG footages. But, more specifically, they make working on a TV or movie set so magical and heartwarming.

I love watching NG footages because they allow me to experience the fun and the magic behind the scenes. But being an actress is even better! I get to enjoy these moments not only vicariously, but also in person!

I think all movies and TV shows should show NG footages at the end, don’t you?

Anyhow, in the next couple of weeks, I will be alternating between looking dorky and looking normal as I film the later episodes. I can’t wait for the show to wrap because it’s really very tiring being a teacher. But I think I’m gonna miss it, too.

People never know what they want, huh?